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General budget for a decent narrowboat these days.


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Hello all, 

 

I'm new to this forum, and this is my first post. From reading and looking around, this forum looks very helpful and informative. 

 

I've reached a point in life where I want to make a large change from my current life. I've been looking into, and thinking about living full-time on the canals and rivers for some time. But enough of magazines, ebay, and Youtube. I now want to put the leg work in with proper research.

 

My primary question is, what sort of budget should I set aside for a 40-45ft narrowboat in good condition these days? When I say good condition, I primarily mean a good hull, engine, and gearbox, unlikely to be hiding horrors which need tens of thousands to rectify. I thought £40k would do it, but after some things I've read in some threads it looks as if it could be considerably more. If you were in my position, how much would you set aside?

 

I'm not looking for a sailaway. I'll be looking for a boat I can more or less move into and use immediately after purchase. 

 

Thanks in advance. 

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My boat is a 45ft cruiser stern built by Gary Gorton in 2000. I spend about 3 or 4 nights a week on it, and it is kitted out for living aboard. It was last surveyed in 2011 when I bought it, so there might be some “issues” but, as far as I am aware, there aren’t.

 

im not interested in selling it but, if I were, I find it hard to believe it would be worth £40k, never mind £45k.

 

So my guess is that, if you keep an eye on the market, something like mine might come up a bit above, or a bit below, £30k.

 

If I’m wrong, the worlds gone mad :( :) 

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3 minutes ago, Richard10002 said:

My boat is a 45ft cruiser stern built by Gary Gorton in 2000. I spend about 3 or 4 nights a week on it, and it is kitted out for living aboard. It was last surveyed in 2011 when I bought it, so there might be some “issues” but, as far as I am aware, there aren’t.

 

im not interested in selling it but, if I were, I find it hard to believe it would be worth £40k, never mind £45k.

 

So my guess is that, if you keep an eye on the market, something like mine might come up a bit above, or a bit below, £30k.

 

If I’m wrong, the worlds gone mad :( :) 

You are a little wrong. Prices are in a bull market. A ten to twelve year old 45 footer is worth around £45K if in good running order. 30 year old 45 footers are fetching £30K in good order.

 

Wrecks that need overplating are fetching £20K

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3 minutes ago, Richard10002 said:

My boat is a 45ft cruiser stern built by Gary Gorton in 2000. I spend about 3 or 4 nights a week on it, and it is kitted out for living aboard. It was last surveyed in 2011 when I bought it, so there might be some “issues” but, as far as I am aware, there aren’t.

 

im not interested in selling it but, if I were, I find it hard to believe it would be worth £40k, never mind £45k.

 

So my guess is that, if you keep an eye on the market, something like mine might come up a bit above, or a bit below, £30k.

 

If I’m wrong, the worlds gone mad :( :) 

 

I suspect if you actually tested the current market you might get a pleasant surprise. Because the world of boat and leisure vehicle sales actually has 'gone mad'.

 

I think the OP's figure is a pretty closer to what can be expected to be paid in the current climate.

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Having been closely following the market for a year now, I've seen some perfectly decent 40ft boats in the low £30k's......any lower than this and the boats start getting more ropey the cheaper you go. 

 

£40k should buy you a decent 40 footer. The biggest issue you'll have is the market is full of 55-62 ft boats and 40ft boats are harder to come by....or maybe this has just been the case during the last year I have been looking! 

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The problem is that the world has gone mad and prices are only going one way and that’s up.! I suspect in a year or so time prices will crash when the people who bought a boat because couldn’t go abroad this last 18 months decide boating is for them and sell up. I am after a bigger boat and am going to wait as I definitely think the market will crash once foreign holidays and restrictions are lifted. 

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A couple of months ago my niece bought at 2007 50 ft cruiser stern boat. Nice clean condition with no significant issues identified by the survey. Don't know what they paid but was advertised at around £45k. They have spent a bit since adding solar and battery monitoring kit.

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A few months ago I bought a decent 58ft NB for £50k. For the most part, and having had it surveyed prior to purchase, it didn't need anything doing to it and has been fine. OK, I've spent a bit since - solar panels fitted, bigger alternator installed, spruce up inside - but other than blacking and 4 new leisure batteries none of these had to be done. (The batteries were a pain though as I needed to be a circus contortionist just to see them let alone replace them!). £40k for what your after sounds about right but be careful, there are some right wreaks about. Always, always get a survey done prior purchase. 

 

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Thanks all. It seems I should mostly consider boats from £40k up. A survey will be carried out without doubt. 

 

Regarding waiting for a year... what a gamble... I thought that about houses 10 years ago, convinced they'd crash from their mad gainz. But no. Then Brexit. Still didn't crash. Then the pandemic. They rose by over 10%. So God only knows what'll happen to boats. 

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I bought a 25 year old 45’ with a decent hull, engine and exterior for £25k late last year, with some work done pre sale…painted bilges and engine service. Inside was tired but liveable. Hope that gives you some idea, although the market has gone up since then. 

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